About me

I took my first tentative steps into my family’s past in 1996.  Back then, not much was available online, and my subscriptions to genealogy sites were monthly, timed to coincide with winter evenings when I had more time to spend at the computer.  Then, gradually, more and more records came online and I was hooked.  These days my bookshelves are full of genealogy texts, record-finding guides, local and social history publications and even historic novels relevant to cities, towns and villages where my ancestors lived.  Weekends away are tweaked to include ancestral places of interest, and I’ve even stayed at a pub/B&B formerly owned by my 3x great grandparents.  Yes, genealogy has become an abiding passion!

In 2018 I passed with Distinction the Pharos / Society of Genealogists Family History Skills & Strategies course, achieving Distinctions for nine of the ten individual units.  I’m now working on the Advanced diploma.

Previous graduate and post-graduate qualifications include degrees in Law, French & Spanish, and a Masters in Politics.  Through them I have developed research and information skills, alongside legal and societal knowledge.  I am a qualified and experienced writer, lecturer, and trainer of adults.

In this blog I share hints and tips about genealogical practice, alongside some finds relating to my areas of genealogical interest but hopefully of wider general appeal, and the odd story from my own ancestry.

To find out what genealogy means to me, click here.
To learn why this blog focuses on English ancestors, click here.


My own special research interests include:

  • Leeds from the 17th to 19th centuries
  • The Lucas family in Leeds
  • Nonconformity in Yorkshire
  • The Simondsons of Wharfedale
  • Guild society in the City of York
  • The impact of the Industrial Revolution on tradesmen and their families
  • The Bumby family of Wharfedale and Thirsk
  • Textiles: I have tailors, clothiers, dyers, silk, linen and woollen weavers. I’m looking for cotton workers to give me the full set!